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March Self-Care Tips



The seasons are transitioning again; we’re going from the harsh, cold winter to the warmth of spring (although you wouldn't know it in certain states). In nature, everything is loosening up – the rivers are flowing due to the melting snow, and tree sap is flowing.  Our bodies are also trying to loosen up and release excess fat and congestion.  So if you feel congested, heavy, and sluggish,  follow some of these diet, herbal and lifestyle tips to help your body transition into spring.


Diet

Comfort foods are great during the winter months, but now it’s time to cut back.  Avoid, or cut down on, heavy, oily, and sweet foods, such as meat, dairy, wheat, and sugar.  Instead, eat lighter foods that are bitter, pungent, or astringent.  Think bitter greens – mustard greens, beet greens, and kale.  Also, favor foods that build energy (prana), such as veggies and legumes.  For grains, barley, millet, and quinoa are good choices.


Have you ever done a cleanse?  It will help you eliminate the winter excess.  There’s no need to starve yourself – just eat light but cooked foods.  In Ayurveda, we do a Kitchari cleanse (a rice and mung bean dish) in the spring for a few days.  It resets digestion and makes you feel lighter and more energetic.  For Kitchari recipes, go to the Joyful Belly website or to the Alchemy Ayurveda website.


Herbs & Spices

Cook with warm, drying spices, such as garlic, turmeric, pepper, ginger, chili, cayenne, dill, and cinnamon.  Other herbs include:

  • Holy Basil, aka Tulsi, because it’s prana building.  It can help clear excess mucus from the respiratory tract, and it gently kindles digestion (agni).  It also supports the immune system and helps build strength and stamina.

  • Burdock root and Dandelion root are classic liver tonic herbs that are also used for mild cleansing.

  • Coriander, Cumin & Fennel Tea, aka, CCF tea, helps prevent puffiness and water retention.  It’s renowned in Ayurveda for its detox properties and digestive support.

  • Nettles are anti-inflammatory and immune calming, so they can help with allergies. 

 

Lastly, sip on warm water throughout the day; it improves digestion and helps eliminate toxins. 


Lifestyle

Some lifestyle tips include:

  • Get a good night’s sleep; get to bed by 10:00 pm and wake up before sunrise.

  • Get moving!  A brisk 30-minute walk each day is ideal.  You could also do some cardio workouts at the gym if the weather doesn’t cooperate.  We get high winds during the spring, so on those days, I don’t walk, but will do my cardio exercise inside.  Depending upon where you live, it may be time to clean up the garden and get it ready for planting. 

  • To get the lymph moving, dry brushing can help. 

  • For allergies, use a Neti Pot to keep the sinuses clear. 


Seasonal transitions can be tough on the body, but with a little self-care, you should sail through it.


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